In honor of the Danish author and poet, we look at the surname ANDERSEN this week.
It is a patronymic surname from the personal name Anders, a vernacular form of Andreas. From the New Testament, the Greek name Andreas derives from andreios, meaning “manly” and aner, meaning, “man” or “male.”
Andreas was the first of Christ’s disciples. Various forms for this personal name throughout Europe are André (France) and Andrea (Italy).
It also gave rise to the northern Middle English name Andrew, which was absorbed in the surname ANDERSON. St. Andrew was also the patron saint of Scotland, making the surname popular in Scotland, under the spelling ANDERSON.
The Easter bunny is a prominent symbol of the holiday, although the furry creature is not mentioned in the Bible.
While the bunny's exact origin is unknown, rabbits are frequently used as a symbol of fertility and new life. According to some, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They brought the tradition of an egg-laying hare called Osterhase.
The tradition continued with children waking up Easter Sunday morning to find that the Easter Bunny had hidden decorated eggs for them to find.
The Easter Egg Hunt, as it is known today, is a fun family activity where children hunt for the decorated eggs indoors and outdoors to win a prize. Whomever finds the most eggs wins a prize including baskets of candies or chocolates.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (two weeks ago), we look at Irish heritage for this week's surname, MURPHY, considered the most common surname in Ireland.
Murphy is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Murchadha (descendant of Murchadh’), a personal name composed of muir (sea) + cath (battle or sea-warrior).
Traditionally, Irish surnames are taken from the leaders of tribes or famous warriors, and Murphy may be an example of this from pre-9th-century Ireland, then under Viking rule.
On Wednesday morning, following the keynote address, the doors opened and thousands of people came through. All of our computers were in use in a matter of minutes.
Last night's FamilySearch.org annual blogger dinner was informative.
As far as attendance stats, we were told that - as of last evening - some 6,800 people had registered. Last year, a little over 4,000 had come through the exhibit halls. In addition, the group has made a concerted effort to bring in young people. An additional nearly 2,000 young people, ages 12-18, will be here on Saturday. And this isn't even counting the numbers around the world you will see live streaming of a number of great programs during the event.
For the first time, organizers said, viewing centers were set up in six countries as a pilot program which is expected to continue and expand in the future.
We video-recorded interviews with Cindy Howells of Cyndi's List, Dick Eastman, Randy Seaver and DearMyrtle, and hope to being them to you soon.
Stay tuned for our next RootsTech post!
One of the best things about genealogy conferences is that we get to catch up with our friends.
This year's RootsTech is expected to attract some 5,000 attendees, some 25% more than last year's event. In addition to conference-goers, speakers and exhibitors, many genealogy bloggers are already here. While many are US-based, this year includes bloggers from Australia, UK, France, Spain and elsewhere.
By 7pm Tuesday, I was at the conference hotel, affectionately known as Geneabloggers Central. I knew that many bloggers had arrived early, and had a nice dinner with Randy Seaver, Heather Wilkinson Rojo, saw Dick Eastman, Lisa Louise Cooke, Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Alzo and others.
This morning (Wednesday) was set-up day for the MyHeritage booth.
The event brings together genealogy and technology. It's a great place to share and learn from top genealogists and technologists about technology tools to help with your family history research.
MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet will give the keynote speech at 8.30am on Saturday, March 23, in Hall 1. He will unveil MyHeritage breaking news, so don’t miss out!
Gilad will speak alongside David Pogue, personal technology weekly columnist for The New York Times and a monthly columnist for Scientific American.
Today we look at DENNIS, in honor of the debut of the "Dennis the Menace" comic strip on March 12, 1951.
DENNIS comes from the medieval personal name Den(n)is (Latin Dionysius, Greek Dionysios’ - follower) in reference to an early Eastern god believed to be the protector of the vine.
St. Denis, the 3rd-century martyred Bishop of Paris, was one of the first mentions. However, the modern popularity of the name in England came in the 12th-century, via a French influence. The first recording of the name was believed to be Walter Denys in 1272. Throughout the centuries, the surname developed with DENNIS being a variant.
Historical records are essential to help us learn more about our families.
MyHeritage has recently added millions of historical records to our data collections, with access to over 4 billion historical records, millions of public family trees and newspaper articles in our online digital archive - SuperSearch. These include grave stones, military records, yearbooks, posters and even mugshots!
We want to know now what are some of the strangest places you have found information about your family members? What are some unusual sources you've used to locate information? The more unusual, the better! Let us know via the poll below and your comments.
Today we look at CHURCHILL, in honor of Sir Winston Churchill’s famous Iron Curtain speech made on March 5, 1956.
Churchill, an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman conquest of 1066, derives from the town Curcelle, which became confused with the English name “Churchill.”
This geographical surname comes from various towns named Churchill (in Oxfordshire, Somerset and Worcestershire). The name goes back to pre-7th century Old English for cyrice (church) and hyll (hill). The surname means “the church on the hill.”
There is one known case where the name's translation is different.
One of my favorite blogs is The Signal, the digital preservation blog of the Library of Congress. A hot topic there centers on personal digital archiving, and much of that relates to family history and genealogy.
The LOC’s Mike Ashenfelder, who writes online articles about personal digital archiving, digital preservation leaders and developments in digital preservation, writes on preserving personal genealogical collections in a digital age.
The popularity of genealogy websites and TV shows is rapidly growing, mainly because the Internet has made it so convenient to access family history information. Almost everything can be done through the computer now. Before the digital age, genealogical research was not only laborious and time consuming, it also resulted in boxes of documents: photos, charts, letters, copies of records and more. Online genealogy has replaced all that paper with digital files. But the trade-off for the ease of finding and gathering the stuff is the challenge of preserving it.
About genealogical databases, Ashenfelder writes:
that relational databases are the engines that drive digital genealogy. Databases make it possible to quickly search through enormous quantities of records, find the person you’re looking for and discover related people and events. And when institutions collaborate and share databases, statistical information becomes enriched.
And, considering some demographics of family history aficionados, digital estate planning now a popular topic. What happens to our digital possessions after we die? And what can we do to preserve them? Getting your digital affairs in order offers much practical information.